LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – As part of his plan to build a new arena in Inglewood, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer will invest $100 million into the local community.
The deal was announced at an Inglewood City Council meeting Tuesday night. Under its terms, $75 million is slated to go towards affordable housing, $12 million to school and youth programs and $6 million for improvements to the Inglewood Public Library.
Back in June of 2017, the city council approved a plan to build a new Clippers arena on the southeast corner of Century Boulevard and Prairie Avenue — about three miles east of Los Angeles International Airport.
Ballmer would pay for the arena himself, with no taxpayer dollars.
The 18,500-seat arena would anchor a 22-acre sports and entertainment complex that would include a corporate Clippers headquarters building, team training facility, sports medicine clinic, community courts, park spaces, educational facilities, restaurants and shops.
Ballmer is looking to move the Clippers out of their current home at Staples Center when their lease expires in 2024. The Clippers have shared Staples with the Lakers and Kings since it opened in 1999.
Uplift Inglewood Coalition, a neighborhood group which has sued the city for approving the arena, praised Ballmer’s proposed community investment.
“We are encouraged that both the City of Inglewood and the Clippers appear to be hearing our message, recognizing the importance of housing affordability, and have taken this important step toward addressing our community’s concerns,” Uplift Inglewood Coalition member, Dr. D’Artagnan Scorza said in a statement. “Our efforts don’t stop here. We will continue to hold them accountable to the Inglewood community.”
Inglewood has struggled with skyrocketing rents amid a boon in commercial development with the upcoming addition of the Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, the new home of the Rams and Chargers, which is set to open in the fall of 2020. There is a fear that skyrocketing rents will force out residents who have lived there for decades.
Back in March, the Inglewood City Council approved an annual 5 percent cap on rent hikes for tenants in older buildings. It’s similar to the city of L.A.’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance, which only allows landlords to increase rent by 3 percent every year for rent-controlled units built before 1979.